STATEMENT – PASSING OF SENATOR JIM MOLAN AO DSC
Tuesday 17 January 2023
Jim Molan was a man of immense warmth and energy.
That is my enduring memory of him, from my first encounter to our final goodbye late last year.
I first met Jim in 2005 as an officer cadet at the Australian Defence Force Academy.
We had invited him to talk with then officer cadets about his operational experience running the coalition war effort in Iraq.
As I greeted Jim at the flagpole all those years ago, he gave me a big handshake, a warm smile and went straight to nicknames: ‘G’day Andy! Good to be here mate!’
He was a senior officer in the Australian Army but he put me instantly at ease. That was his way with people. His enthusiasm gave energy and confidence to others.
When we served together in the Parliament more than a decade later, Jim was the same man - brimming with energy, ideas and goodwill.
He was singularly focused on Australia’s security, devoting his final years to sounding the bell on areas of concern—from national strategy to supply chain resilience.
In all of this, Jim was direct about the threats to Australia, even if his straight talk made people uncomfortable.
Tough conversations are never easy but Jim was always a soldier at heart—by vocation and instinct. Duty came first. That’s why he wrote and finished ‘Danger on our Doorstep’ while battling cancer—we needed to have the tough conversation about our strategic circumstances. Even as the shadows lengthened, he finished the mission. And we will be always grateful for it.
As Jim and I parted ways in Parliament late last year, the energy and warmth was there, as it was when we first met. He still had much to contribute to public life. I’m grateful for the ways he has strengthened me.
Our nation has lost a great soldier, thinker and servant of the Australian people.
My thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Anne, his children and the Molan family.
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